Ruiru, a developing town situated 20 kilometers from the capital city, has had tremendous development as seen from the numerous epitomes over the past few years. This development is holistic, and it is geared towards making a nationally competitive town within Kiambu County. In the recent municipality rankings, the Ruiru municipal council ranked fourth. This is attributed to among other benchmarks, its development progression.
Last Sunday, September 30, 2012, Sunday Nation- Young Nation page 5 featured a story by Sharon Ogugu on transport in Ruiru. The story is in the in the jpeg format above. Sharon, whom I would rightly argue that she is merely an entrant in Ruiru, exaggerated her story beyond proportion.
Foremost, there are no vans in Ruiru. There are only mini-matatus and just a few matatus in the route she travelled. The mini-matatus are new Nissans and Mazdas while the matatus are good-condition vehicles. As a matter of fact, the previous Suzuki Marutis operating in the region, which have hitherto been phased off, do not match the description of the “van” she boarded. Where would the women carrying ciondos and the boy with the live chicken be coming from for them to take a van at the bus terminus? The market is about 500 meters from the market. PSVs take people at the bus stop that is about 120 meters from the market, called ‘Mashaku’.
On Saturday afternoons, due to the influx of the people to the market, fares are hiked to Sh 20. The only way Sharon would have paid Sh 10 is as will inform you hereafter.
Ruiru has farms as well, it being an urban center notwithstanding. But in my more-than-ten years of residence in the town, I have never seen people travelling from the rural part with the said jembes, sacks of potatoes and live hens. It beats all logic why someone would have their bicycle tied to the van instead of riding it to prisons, just 1.6 kilometers away. Prisons, as the name suggests, is a prison. We however call it college as a euphemism for the center that not only rehabilitates but also trains inmates. The road to Prisons is being carpeted by the Ministry for Roads and Public Works in collaboration with the Council. I therefore refute the insinuation that Sharon’s van, the kiosk, got filled with dust.
As much as Ruiru has its own problems that we are in the process of shunning, it is not as bad as it was portrayed in the story, ‘Ruiru Visit’. It is a town with popular participation in development, where residents hardly think just of what the town can do for them but also what they can do for it.
Sharon Ogugu succeeded in creating humour in her story. It would have however been more humourous were it in concomitance with empirical information and the right tableau of the town.
I however do not rule out the idea of the old van she was in, and the Sh 10 fare that t=she paid. It is possible, and most likely that the passengers in it were all headed for Shiku’s place and therefore found it cheaper for them to hire the van.
My condolences to Shiku and her family as well.